say

verb
\ ˈsā How to pronounce say (audio) , Southern also ˈse \
said\ ˈsed How to pronounce said (audio) , especially when subject follows  səd \; saying\ ˈsā-​iŋ How to pronounce saying (audio) \; says\ ˈsez How to pronounce says (audio) , sometimes  ˈsāz , especially when subject follows  səz How to pronounce says (audio) \

Definition of say

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to express in words : state
b : to state as opinion or belief : declare
b : recite, repeat say your prayers
3a : indicate, show the clock says five minutes after twelve
b : to give expression to : communicate a glance that said all that was necessary
4 : suppose, assume let's say you're right

intransitive verb

: to express oneself : speak
say uncle
: to admit defeat
that is to say
: in other words : in effect
to say nothing of
: not to mention : and notably in addition will need more time, to say nothing of money

say

noun
plural says\ ˈsāz How to pronounce says (audio) , Southern also  ˈsez How to pronounce says (audio) \

Definition of say (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : an expression of opinion had my say
2 : a right or power to influence action or decision especially : the authority to make final decisions
3 archaic : something that is said : statement

say

adverb

Definition of say (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : about, approximately the property is worth, say, four million dollars
2 : for example : as if we compress any gas, say oxygen

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Other Words from say

Verb

sayer \ ˈsā-​ər How to pronounce sayer (audio) , ˈser \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for say

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adverb

Antonyms: Adverb

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Examples of say in a Sentence

Verb “Is anybody there?” he said. “Good morning,” said the woman behind the counter. I said three words before he interrupted me again. I just stopped by to say hello. He left without saying goodbye. I wanted to say thank you for all you've done for me. She said something about going to the store after work. He said something in French. Anything you say to the police can be used as evidence against you. Don't believe a word he says. Noun Everybody had a say at the meeting. We won't make a decision until all members have had their say. The judge will have the final say on the divorce settlement. He had no say in the matter. Adverb a person consumes, say, 2000 calories a day
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The coronavirus pandemic has isolated people within their home and contributed to rising unemployment, a risk factor linked to domestic violence, experts say. Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'A sobering reminder': Wisconsin had 52 victims of domestic violence homicide last year, and experts fear those numbers are growing," 17 Sep. 2020 Probably not — but there will be changes, say local industry experts. Russ Wiles, The Arizona Republic, "Will COVID-19 end offices in metro Phoenix? These industry experts say 'no'," 17 Sep. 2020 Legal experts say prosecutors may have a difficult time securing a conviction because the case will hinge on what both men intended to do that night. Josh Funk, Star Tribune, "New evidence key to charges in Nebraska protester's death," 16 Sep. 2020 Public health experts say the virus is under control in this range. Marc Freeman, sun-sentinel.com, "Florida reaches 13,100 deaths from COVID-19, as disease claims 1,000 victims every 10 days in state," 16 Sep. 2020 Experts say shrinking capacity on container ships and cargo aircraft, outdated technology to transport fragile vials of medicine and inadequate refrigeration are among the problems any administration will face in distributing the vaccine. Tyler Pager, Bloomberg.com, "Biden Says He Would Order Masks Nationwide If He Had Authority," 16 Sep. 2020 To effectively protect the nation from the coronavirus, experts say upwards of 70% of Americans must either be vaccinated or have their own immunity from fighting off COVID-19. Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar, USA TODAY, "Feds outline sweeping plan to provide free COVID-19 vaccine for all Americans," 16 Sep. 2020 Experts say the storm may be slow-moving but is hardly a weakling. Daniel Cusick, Scientific American, "Hurricane Sally Rumbles Onshore with Echoes of Harvey," 16 Sep. 2020 To effectively protect the nation from the coronavirus, experts say 70% to 90% of Americans must either be vaccinated or have their own immunity from fighting off COVID-19. Matthew Perrone, Anchorage Daily News, "Government outlines sweeping plan to provide free COVID-19 vaccines," 16 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Existing creditors also don’t have a say in whether companies should issue new debt or not, Mr. Friedman said. Nina Trentmann, WSJ, "Companies Issue New Bonds to Pay Down Short-Term Debt Amid Pandemic," 2 Sep. 2020 Joe Exotic still could raise the claims in a separate lawsuit if not allowed to have a say in the tax case. Nolan Clay, USA TODAY, "'Tiger King' star Joe Exotic takes feud with former business partner Jeff Lowe to court again," 24 Aug. 2020 It’s not an American concept or an African concept; everywhere, the world’s 1 billion people with disabilities need to have a say. Lisa Deaderick, San Diego Union-Tribune, "People with disabilities should lead discussions about their rights and needs, especially during pandemic," 23 Aug. 2020 Soldiers have to have a say in state and federal elections. Sig Christenson, ExpressNews.com, "Veterans see mail-in ballots as ‘most sacred of the sacred’," 23 Aug. 2020 People argue that players who make piles of money for their schools and conferences ought to have a say in whether the school/conference plays football. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, "Doc's Morning Line: I want them to play, but wonder if everyone will do what's needed.," 19 Aug. 2020 Also Tuesday, the judge, Clifton Jessup Jr., denied the families’ request to create a committee — made up of people who are suing Remington over the use of its products — that would have a say in the bankruptcy proceedings. Dave Collins, BostonGlobe.com, "Sandy Hook families: Gun maker trying to wipe out lawsuit," 18 Aug. 2020 Also Tuesday, the judge, Clifton Jessup Jr., denied the families' request to create a committee — comprised of people who are suing Remington over the use of its products — that would have a say in the bankruptcy proceedings. Dave Collins, Star Tribune, "Sandy Hook families: Gun maker trying to wipe out lawsuit," 18 Aug. 2020 That recommendation will land on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's desk, who will have the final say on Thompson's case. Christina Maxouris, CNN, "A man has been imprisoned for decades after a marijuana sale. The state's top attorney says it's time he's released," 16 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'say.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of say

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

1571, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Adverb

circa 1596, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for say

Verb

Middle English, from Old English secgan; akin to Old High German sagēn to say, Lithuanian sakyti, Greek ennepein to speak, tell

Adverb

from imperative of say entry 1

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Time Traveler for say

Time Traveler

The first known use of say was before the 12th century

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Statistics for say

Last Updated

19 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Say.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/say. Accessed 1 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for say

say

verb
How to pronounce say (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of say

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to use your voice to express (something) with words
: to express (an opinion)
: to express (a fact) with certainty

say

noun

English Language Learners Definition of say (Entry 2 of 2)

: an opportunity to express your opinion
: the power to decide or help decide something

say

verb
\ ˈsā How to pronounce say (audio) \
said\ ˈsed \; saying\ ˈsā-​iŋ \

Kids Definition of say

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to express in words He said that she would be late. What does the card say?
2 : to state as an opinion or decision : declare I say you are wrong.
3 : repeat entry 1 sense 2, recite I said my prayers.
4 : indicate sense 2, show The clock says half past ten.
5 : to consider as a possibility or example Can you spare, say, 20 dollars?

say

noun

Kids Definition of say (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an expression of opinion We all had a say at the meeting.
2 : the power to decide or help decide We had no say in the matter.

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More from Merriam-Webster on say

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for say

Nglish: Translation of say for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of say for Arabic Speakers

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